hu·​la | \ˈhü-lə \
variants: or less commonly hula-hula \ˌhü-​lə-​ˈhü-​lə \

Definition of hula 

: a sinuous Polynesian dance characterized by rhythmic movement of the hips and mimetic gestures with the hands and often accompanied by chants and rhythmic drumming

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A sinuous Polynesian dance, the hula combines undulating movement of the hips and mimetic hand gestures. The dance is often accompanied by chants, drumming, and music played on instruments such as the ukulele. Originally a religious dance performed to praise the chiefs, contemporary hulas tell a story or describe a place, and are danced exclusively by women. The costume typically includes a raffia skirt with a lei (garland) around the neck.

Examples of hula in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Two Orlando hopefuls -- hula hooper Jenny Klimantova and fire breather Nathan Spare -- advanced in an episode last week. Hal Boedeker,, "'America's Got Talent': Orlando dancer wows," 20 June 2018 As Barbra the hula-hooper is there to say, MedMen's glossy design and the educational iPads promised that medical marijuana for everyone, and also no one in particular. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "The Barneys of Weed—Or Rather the Target of Weed, Or Maybe It’s the Supreme of Weed—Opens on Fifth Avenue," 20 Apr. 2018 How many times could the hula-hooper spin the lighter hoop in a minute? Science Buddies, Scientific American, "Swiveling Science: Applying Physics to Hula-Hooping," 11 July 2013 Hula Hoop Fitness Class Adults can join trainer Connie Mullen and learn how to be fit by using a weighted hula hoop. Mary Lou Cruz,, "Boynton Beach area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018 Now restored, it’s once again a gathering spot not only for movies but also for events, such as hula shows. Jay Jones,, "Road trip along Hawaii's Hamakua Coast leads to seldom-seen natural beauty," 30 Jan. 2018 Utilizing some slick visual effects, Grande sways her body back and forth, with the galaxy acting like a hula hoop swaying around her. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "Ariana Grande's Epic 'God Is a Woman' Video, Decoded," 13 July 2018 The basketball court where the Giants spend an hour playing with the kids, jumping rope and hula-hooping (and, yes, losing a massive tug of war), is being used for the first time since the storm. Jenny Vrentas,, "Five Giants, and Those Forgotten After the Storm," 23 May 2018 Rather, the Midnight Circus is a show featuring local performers showing off myriad skills: juggling, musical performances, hula-hooping, acrobatics and more. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "5 things to do in Chicago this weekend," 2 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hula.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hula

1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hula


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Dictionary Entries near hula






hula skirt


Statistics for hula

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for hula

The first known use of hula was in 1825

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English Language Learners Definition of hula

: a Hawaiian dance that has flowing hand and hip movements

More from Merriam-Webster on hula

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hula Encyclopedia article about hula

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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